Police have arrested an Illinois woman for vandalizing a memorial to a Chicago police officer who was killed in a shooting during a traffic stop last year.
Anna KochakianThe 26-year-old is accused of taking a photo of a fallen officer Ella French29, according to the Illinois State Police at Downer’s Grove. The incident reportedly happened around 5:33 p.m. on August 19, 2021, just days after French died.
Officers were on routine foot patrol when warned the memorial at the James R. Thompson Center had been “vandalized,” state police said. The Thompson Center is a government office building. French’s photo was “torn down” on a nearby elevated train platform and “disposed of in a trash can,” state police continued.
As recently as Wednesday, February 9, 2022, authorities announced that Kochakian had been arrested at her home on a warrant. State police said law enforcement officers conducted “a full and thorough investigation” into the matter before handcuffing Kochakian.
The defendant is charged with criminal property damage/defacing a police memorial, which is a Class 4 felony in Illinois. The law criminalizes damage to myriad types of property, but provides a specific penalty for “knowing damage.”[ing] any property. . . Commemorating or honoring an individual or group of law enforcement officers, firefighters, U.S. military personnel, National Guard personnel, or veterans.”
Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department David O. Brown shared news of the arrest.
“Officer French’s legacy is not tarnished by the heinous acts of this offender,” Brown said tweeted. “Despite the actions this person committed, her legacy and everything she stood for lives on. We will #NeverForget what she did to protect Chicago.”
Brown noted that Kochakian was handcuffed by French’s partner with the force.
The perpetrator was arrested in handcuffs by Officer Carlos Yanez Jr., her partner. This was a moment of justice for Ella, her family, the Chicago Police Department and everyone who knew and loved Ella. pic.twitter.com/9RIoKIFRCG
— Chicago Police Department Superintendent David O. Brown (@ChiefDavidBrown) February 9, 2022
Yanez was wounded in the shooting that claimed French’s life, according to state police added. He sustained two gunshot wounds to the head and may be permanently disabled New York Post written down.
Kochakian is scheduled for a bond hearing on Thursday, February 10th.
Chicago CBS affiliate WBBM-TV reported that the incident appeared to include videos from social media accounts that have since been deleted. Several conservative and pro-law enforcement websites have attributed the videos to Kochakian, although authorities did not mention the footage when announcing the defendant’s arrest.
In a video As described by WBBM, apparently someone is trying to push a monument to French – or maybe trying to knock it over – but is doing no harm. Another quoted video of the TV station pretends to show a hand reaching for a small blue wreath. The hand removes a photo of French and crumbles the photo while turning away from the memorial. The short video ends before anything is said and before anything else is done.
Several Screenshots of social media posts attributed to Kochakian labeling the defendant as a prison abolitionist, a “radical” and an “anarcho-communist political education nerd,” although the websites linking the posts to the defendant admitted that the accounts’ usernames had changed several times, before finally being removed.
The posts were nonetheless widely shared online.
defendant Monty Morgan21, allegedly admitted to shooting and killing French people who died on August 7, 2021 Associated Press reported last summer. Morgan is charged with the first-degree murder of a peace officer. His brother, Eric Morgan, 22, is said to have driven the car; He faces charges of possessing a gun and is also accused of obstructing justice AP said.
A third officer at the scene “returned fire and hit Monty Morgan in the stomach,” who said New York Post written down. This officer was also wounded.
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